The ideal Irish comfort food - shepherd’s pie recipe

Shepherd’s Pie for St Patrick's Day

There’s nothing like a slab of Shepherd's pie on a cold day. Shepherd’s pie is the perfect simple dinner that’s sure to put a smile on the face of any Irish person in your life.

Shepherd’s pie, or cottage pie as it’s known in Britain, is believed to have existed since around 1791 when potatoes became an available, affordable crop to the poor. This dish was a perfect way to stretch leftover roasted meat.

Originally the pie was lined with mashed potato as well as having a mashed potato crust. The term shepherd’s pie came into use, alongside cottage pie, from around 1870.

Here’s a simple, tasty and inexpensive recipe for shepherd’s pie:


2 tablespoons Irish butter
1 medium chopped onion
2 sliced carrots
4 tablespoons cream flour
600ml/1 pint browning stock
chopped parsley and thyme
450g/1lb cooked minced beef
675g mashed potatoes


Melt the Irish butter in a saucepan and add the chopped onion cover and let sweat for a few minutes.
Add the carrots.

Stir in the flour and cook until it is slightly browned, then add the stock and herbs.

Bring to the boil and reduce it a little by boiling for about 5 minutes.

Add the meat and bring back to the boil.

Place in a pie dish and cover with the mashed potatoes put into a medium hot oven (180c/350f/) for about 30 minutes.